offering 1

By Stephanie Ervin

I run through sagebrush
in cowboy boots and curlers ignoring the laughing stars I can’t read The low hills look the same I can’t find the homestead
or where we let Grandma Betty’s ashes fly to the persistent wind

I smell
Kunka’s cinnamon rolls and ham steaks brands burning into bovine flesh I hear the wind smacking the American flag in front of the post office steps where my great-grandfather died of a heart attack

Kunka as she feeds milk to bum lambs from warmed up Coca-Cola bottles with sticky nipples

Stumbling over rocks I fall down look at the map of stars hear Patsy Cline’s distant voice reminding me love only lends itself to heartache

I wake up with
sagebrush in my face, the wind whipping my hair, one of Tracy’s rodeo belt buckles in my hand, and I have no idea how long I’ve been asleep.


  1. Scratched into the paint of a bathroom stall in Lander:
    Beneath it, in Sharpie:
    “Why the hell not?”

    That’s a terrrible comment for such a fine, evocative, beautiful piece of verse, but it sounds like you’ve spend some time out there, which mean you probably get the utter Wyoming-ness of the joke.

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